Before the track action begins at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell'Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, Thursday saw a few of the frontrunners from the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup grid sit down for the pre-event Press Conference to talk about the weekend ahead. Points leader Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) was joined by Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE), Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40), Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse), Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) and Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) as the first double-header of the season gets underway.
Here are the key quotes from those present!
Dominique Aegerter: "For me last time out was slightly different and more difficult than Jerez because of the test we had in Jerez, the race was easier, let's say, we already had data. But now we have two races more here and we have data from last weekend, we've been working on the data and watched the practices to improve. I hope we can start tomorrow better and be more consistent in front, especially the E-Pole and first race will be important for the Sunday race. But I think this weekend we are prepared better, so I have a great feeling, the team are working well and I can't wait to go out on the bike!
"We will check with the team the tactics we have, it's slightly different with E-Pole Saturday morning, but we try some small things and also still I need to adapt a bit more to the bike, how it reacts on this track but we're... I think our strategy for the weekend will be good, and we always have a new tyre when we go out which will help us to improve the bike and my riding style, and to be ready for E-Pole and the race."
Matteo Ferrari: "Every race is different, I have to cancel the other weekends and not think about them! I love this track, this weekend we will have two races and only two practices so the strategy will be different. And we have the first E-Pole in the morning, last year E-Pole was always in the afternoon so a bit different, we didn't ride during the morning for just one lap. So I'll try to do my best because E-Pole is very important for the races.
"E-Pole is different because in every other category you can ride before, but in MotoE no. The preparation is very different and E-pole in the morning for me will be interesting because I took my first pole in MotoE last week but I'll try to do my best."
Jordi Torres: "For us the most important now is try to gain some rear traction, because the races are very short and during the races if you try to be too fast at the beginning then maybe in the last two or three laps you don't have rubber on the rear so it's important to manage the races and keep a good strategy during the seven laps... it sounds strange because they are few laps but if you push too much in the beginning maybe you arrive at the end without good rear grip! But we need to work on this, and also try to be more aggressive in the races, because we have now a little step forward, have good pace and we're fast on one lap, but sometimes you're more focused on the guys trying to overtake you and don't try to attack - this is important in this category, to always try and gain some tenths on your rivals and try to keep concentration throughout the seven laps.
"I don't know the difference between grip on Saturday and Sunday but after three races last weekend there was more rubber down. We don't know exactly, it depends which tyres were used before our sessions. It depends, for example after MotoGP we go on track, maybe the grip is different to Moto2 or Moto3, for sure it changes a little."
Mattia Casadei: "I hope to start the race in front again, another first row... and the strategy I don't know. I don't know what to do but for me it's better to stay in front and try and keep my rhythm to try and win!
"I have to do a little step, and I checked the data after the race and I see it's possible to make that step, with my crew chief we'll try to do that before the races."
Xavier Simeon: "It's a new weekend, in the race everybody was fast and laptimes were similar for nearly all the riders. The most important is E-Pole, the position on the grid is very, very important because the race is short and if you're in the leading group it's a different race if you start from the back. So like Matteo said, this weekend is different with E-Pole on Saturday morning, we'll have to sleep well and be very awake for one lap! I like this system though, I like to make one fast lap without a warm up, so I hope I can be fast.
"We could see in Jerez, missing my data from last year was important because my experience was there but we were missing something for setup and the laptimes are very close, we were missing small tenths to fight at the front with the top guys. But last weekend we made a big change on the bike and that made a big improvement, especially for my riding style, I hope we can make another this weekend and fight at the front."
Eric Granado: “It was a strange weekend for me, we were ready to fight for the win, I had good pace, then that lap and mistake and unfortunately the rule is like this. As everyone says, the E-pole is so important and I started last, so I had not so much I could do! I tried to overtake the maximum riders I could but the bikes are so similar on the straight, you can have slipstream and if you overtake a rider in the corners it's hard. I did what was possible and tried to finish and take points. I was ready to fight for the win last week and I'm ready again this weekend, it's good to know we have two chances. I'll try to be perfect, make no mistakes... and go for it.
"I try to do my best in all the races, I don't want to think about the Championship, I'm 23 points down and it's not impossible to arrive so I'll do my best and we'll see what happens!"
That's it from Thursday! Keep up to date with all the Friday news and tune in for another stunning E-Pole session earlier than normal on Saturday as MotoE™ get ready to rumble TWICE this weekend at Misano. Race 1 then starts at 16:20 (GMT +2) on Saturday, before Race 2 at 10:05 (GMT +2) on Sunday.